WEST virginia legislature
2017 regular session
House Bill 4207
By Delegates Shott and Hanshaw
[The Committee on the Judiciary; Reported February 16, 2018. ]
A BILL to amend and reenact §39-4-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to receiving a commission to act as a notary public; authorizing an online electronic application process to apply to receive a commission to act as a notary public; removing the oath of office and requiring an applicant to swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that answers to questions in the application are true and if appointed, the applicant will perform faithfully all notarial acts in accordance with the law; and eliminating the $1000 bond requirement.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 4. REVISED UNIFORM LAW ON NOTARIAL ACTS.
§39-4-20. Commission as notary public; qualifications; no immunity or benefit; disposition of fees.
(a) An individual qualified under subsection (b) of this section may apply to the Secretary of State for a commission as a notary public through the Secretary of State’s online notary system. The applicant shall comply with and provide the information required by rules promulgated by the Secretary of State and pay any application fee.
(b) An applicant for a commission as a notary public must:
(1) Be at least eighteen years of age;
(2) Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;
(3) Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in this state;
(4) Be able to read and write English;
(5) Have a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
(6) Not be disqualified to receive a commission under §39-4-23 of this code.
(c) Before issuance of a
commission as a notary public, an applicant
for the commission shall execute
an oath of office and submit it to the Secretary of State shall provide
a statement on the notary application that they solemnly swear or affirm, under
penalty of perjury, that the answers to all questions in this application are
true, complete, and correct; that I have carefully read the notaries public law
of West Virginia; and, if appointed and commissioned as a notary public, I will
perform faithfully, to the best of my ability all notarial acts in accordance
with the law. (d) Before issuance of a
commission as a notary public, the applicant for a commission shall submit to
the Secretary of State an assurance in the form of: (1) A surety bond or its
functional equivalent in the amount of $1,000; or (2) certification that the
applicant is covered under a: (A) Professional liability insurance policy; (B)
an errors and omission insurance policy; (C) a commercial general liability
insurance policy; or (D) their equivalent, in the amount of $1,000. The
assurance must be issued by a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to
do business in this state. The assurance must cover acts performed during the
term of the notary public's commission and must be in the form prescribed by
the Secretary of State. If a notary public violates law with respect to
notaries public in this state, the surety or issuing entity is liable under the
assurance. The notary public shall give thirty days' notice to the Secretary of
State before canceling any assurance or loss of insurance coverage. The surety
or issuing entity shall notify the Secretary of State not later than thirty
days after making a payment to a claimant under the assurance. A notary public
may perform notarial acts in this state only during the period that a valid
assurance is on file with the Secretary of State (e) (d) On compliance with this section, the
Secretary of State shall issue a commission as a notary public to an applicant
for a term of five years. (f) (e) A commission to act as a notary public
authorizes the notary public to perform notarial acts. The commission does not
provide the notary public any immunity or benefit conferred by law of this
state on public officials or employees.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize an online electronic application process to become a notary public and eliminate the $1000 bond requirement.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.